- June 26th, 2010
THIS STORY IS BASED ON CHARACTERS AND SCENES FROM BBC TELEVISION PRODUCTION 'ASHES TO ASHES'.
This story is written in response to a competion hosted by fox_murphy to create a piece of LOM and/or A2A fan-fiction including some or all of a 10 words that fox has chosen. I've used all of them. YAY! For some reason I can't acess formatting tools for this entry. So I have put my key competition words in capitals. (tho there are also just a few other words in caps. My story is rated G. Enjoy! By the way, I enter this story for TEAM GENE.
Since landing in the 80’s, Alex had had many hard days. In C.I.D. there was the Sexism, the Racism and even the brutality and contempt toward the villains and the misfits that were dragged in off the streets.
There were the whispers of corruption and of course being on the street itself often having to face what really were the scum of the earth - and the misery of their victims. Somehow it seemed more raw and ‘in your face’ then she’d remembered from where she came from.
‘Where she came from’. That made for hard days too. Remembering and longing after her daughter Molly and wondering if she would ever get back to her. Wondering how, and feeling herself torn; going mad at the most inappropriate moments. Facing alone, the incomprehension on her colleagues faces as she spun out.
But today had been the hardest. And it wasn’t even because Gene had suspended her and demanded her Warrant Card. Bad enough – but it was Gene’s complete and utter loss of trust in her that hurt her most. She hated him at that moment, but she cared too. Cared about what she’d lost with him.
And it was seeing his Hurt too. She’d hurt him deeply. She saw that in his tight, ice-blue stare; A stare that pierced her. There was the occasional perfunctory sentence he’d delivered in a dead-cold voice. But apart from that, there was the stony, silence – the silence, the stillness and the stare - as Alex tumbled her words out trying to make him believe a bizarre story.
This was the Gene she feared. Not the yelling, arguing, insulting version. At least that Gene showed a passion of sorts. At least he was engaged. Gene yelled and argued and bullied, the way other people said `Good morning’, or `Pleased to meet you’ or `Thank you’. It was normal.
But today, standing before her, quietly, coldly demanding her Warrant card, Alex knew Gene felt betrayed; Knew that he’d cut her; Cut her off from him completely. And she knew it gave him no pleasure.
When she left, Alex felt the knots tighten in her belly, the heat rise to her face and her eyes ready to weep. It was all mostly because of her confusion. She hated him; She hated herself. Alex had to make sense of this somehow; Unravel her feelings and thoughts. She needed to talk, talk, TALK until it was all out. But to whom? There was literally-nobody!
In the past she could use Gene as a sounding board to some extent. Yes he might ignore or disparage her as she wittered on. But he tolerated it and she trusted him. Gene was big enough to absorb it all. Without impact sometimes. Yet it would leave Alex feeling a bit more relieved of her anxieties a bit more organised in her mind. But that door was now closed to her.
Okay! The only other solution was to crush these feelings; obliterate them. Get drunk! But not alone. Alex feared the thoughts of loathing; of confusion and frustration; the thoughts of self-hatred that threatened to overwhelm her, drunk or not.
She needed to have all her conscious thoughts clamped down. She needed her body to be taken over by thudding, mind numbing noise; To have her whole being crushed and lost and morphed into a heaving, palpitating mass of like-minded city rats escaping the horrors of the day, as she was.
Alex left C.I.D. and slammed her self straight into her CAR and screamed off to Soho. She didn’t even bother to tart herself up; to change into ‘something slutty’. ‘Oh God! Why won’t his words go away?’. She didn’t change. Who for? What for? Alex didn’t care whether she picked up, or got picked up, or was ignored. Just anything - as long as she could no longer think; no longer feel.
She careered around Soho and surrounds until she found the loudest, the dingiest, the most crowded NIGHTCLUB in the district. She’d be okay - for now.
The noise was driving Alex crazy. So high pitched; So querulous; So grating. What atrocious music was this? She was dozing and tried to ignore it. But the sound picked at her incessantly. She opened her eyes. Alex was looking at two dowdy middle-aged women ferreting about in a GARDEN nattering to each other in a whiney questioning way. Where the hell was she?
It was the T.V. she could hear. Alex was home; curled on her couch. How she didn’t know; With whom? Well no-one in sight; But Alex half-wondered in her daze if there were the remains of a man passed out somewhere in her flat. Indeed she did think she had heard snatches of snores emanating from some distance place. But it could have been from herself. Anyhow, she’d forgotten anything that might have taken place that night. That morning. And yet she did remember, that for some reason, forgetting was good. Today anyway.
Alex cleared her head enough to realise she was now watching an early morning episode of `Rosemary and Thyme’. Well ‘dowdy’ might have been too strong a word to describe the two protagonists. One looked quite bright; Her ‘pixie’ looks kept middle-age at bay. In fact she looked quite good and she didn’t even have to ‘take her clothes off’. Alex giggled in an addled, uncontrollable way. `Oh God that’s funny! But where the hell did that thought come from?’ She thought she was starting to remember - something; someone. Whatever it was, it was painful. She shut her memory down again.
The other gardener, Alex couldn’t quite make out. She was larger; Well large and - `let’s face it’ - awkward. Ungainly. Clunky. She was bent over, legs astride, face hidden under the world’s largest STRAW HAT. She wore a loud flowery, rather billowing blouse and a plain expansive SKIRT. She pruned a heavily thickened rose-bush with chunky man-hands and then doused them in WATER from her can. Alex stifled another stupefied giggle. ‘Oh the poor woman! She can't help it if she's more man than maiden!’
Alex had begun to doze again but soon her eyes started open.
`AAAGGGHHH!!’, the large woman cursed loudly - but in an odd rasping way. `What’s wrong?’ asked the Pixie?
`It’s the rose bush. The bloody thorns. They got me!’ yelled the other and at last she lifted her head. Alex could see the face; THAT face!
‘It’s the rose, Alex! Beware of the rose. Operation Rose!’ It was Gene. Staring bulge-eyed at Alex; desperation in his look.
‘Enough! Enough! Enough!’, Alex screeched aloud at the screen as she desperately fumbled to find the remote. ‘Not him again!’ This is just what she’d been trying to escape.
Click, click, click. Finally Alex was as far away as she could be from Gene, from London, from her life. Gary Cooper was now loping along on his HORSE on a black and white screen. He was tired no doubt from a busy day as Sheriff, trying to track down the movements of Liberty Valance.
Alex was suddenly starving so she left Cooper to amble on as she herself shuffled to the kitchen. She’d remembered the PLATE OF SUSHI sitting in her fridge. Making the sushi was one way of Alex reminding herself she was not of this time and must get back. She’d mentioned to Shaz one day, that she would kill for a quick tasty plate of sushi between blags but that she couldn’t find it anywhere in the city.
Shaz had screwed her mouth side-ways and looked at Alex in utter incomprehension and disgust as Alex tried to explain it’s contents. It hit Alex then that, of course! Food was as much of a fashion trend as clothes or music and ’80’s London just didn’t DO sushi! ‘You’ve never heard of sushi? Right!’ enthused Alex. `You’re in for a treat then. I’ll make you some.’
`Whatever’, said Shaz as she showed Chris an eye-rolling sneer. And indeed Alex came to wonder whether it had been worth the effort she’d put in, to traipse half-way around London and back again to beg and buy the ingredients one by one from a plethora of weird and wonderful back-street food shops. Some exotic but most just downright dodgy.
For Alex’s sake Shaz had nibbled at Alex’s creation but then promptly gagged. Gene had stopped dead in his tracks and stared at two lonely, dark, perfectly formed, untouched sushi rolls. He stared - blankly; blinking; as the clock, and the cogs in his mind ticked slowly on. He looked up, serious, asked the room ‘Who let the dog in?’ and promptly strode on to his office. The other responses weren’t much better. ‘Oh well,’ thought Alex. ‘At least I’ll have my own tasty, secret symbol of the ‘Noughties’ to bring back the memories of my real home.’
And now she had the treat to enjoy. Legs curled under her as she sat on her couch watching a Classic on the Tele. In that world, the sun was going down and Gary’s head lolled beneath his broad hat as his HORSE plodded on home. The sleepy rhythm and her full stomach, sent Alex off again after a while, to a relaxed wakefulness. `At last. Peace’, she thought. `Who knows how long it will last? But grab it while you can.’
CLICK! The sound in the silence was like a bomb blast to Alex’s ears. She jerked her head up. She saw the screen. But there was no cinematic vista. Instead the screen was filled; Filled with the black hole of a Smith and Wesson GUN barrel and above, on each side of the barrel were two huge staring steel-grey eyeballs rolling and looming madly from under sharply arched eyebrows.
‘I’ll kill you Alex! I’ll kill you!’ It was him! Again! Gene!
‘No! No! No!Please no!’ Alex screamed at the set. Again, the remote - she scrabbled for it. This time to turn the horror screen off altogether. But she stopped and sat bolt-upright.
‘My God! My God! But it’s TRUE! Gene DID say that.’ Last night; As she left the C.I.D. He just couldn’t leave it at taking her Warrant card. He’d deliberately followed her to the door of his office and had shouted to her for everyone to hear, ‘You dare to get in my way and I swear to God I will I’ll kill you!’
Now here in her flat, Gene was still screaming on the screen, ‘I’ll kill you!’ His voice now an uncontrolled falsetto rasp; His face reddening and sweating with rage. A single strand of loosened hair shook furiously on his forehead.
‘I’LL KILL YOUUU!’
A quiet ‘click’. A second’s silence. Then…the sound deafened Alex. It filled her whole head.
Alex woke up.